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Ludlow Likely to Allow Much Larger Signs for Businesses

The Ludlow City Council conducted a special meeting on Tuesday for the first reading of a text amendment that would allow a larger billboard sign for Ludlow Pharmacy than what the International Property and Maintenance Code currently stipulates. The current maximum size for a commercial outdoor sign is 25 square feet, but city council has suggested an increase of up to 60 square feet.

“We had to do a text amendment because the sign ordinance that we have doesn't allow that type of size for a sign,” Ludlow Mayor Ken Wynn explained.

Ludlow City Attorney Jeff Otis said that cities are permitted to change the stipulations and often do so frequently to help local businesses.

All but one council member appeared to be on board with the proposal. Councilman Tom Amann expressed concern that if the city makes an exception for the pharmacy, other local businesses could follow suit with larger signs of their own, creating what he described as an eyesore for the business district.

“We've got the sign for Pizza Hut, and the Dollar Store. We've got the big sign for Riverside Market. I think this is going to be a mistake," Amann said. "I don't know if this big sign is going to create more business for the pharmacy. I think going from twenty-five square feet to sixty square feet is going to be not very attractive.”

Mayor Wynn downplayed the concern that other businesses might make their own large signs by pointing out the cost it takes to have them produced.

“I think in our main business district, no one is going to be spending the money they're going to spend to put this sign up,” Mayor Wynn said.

One proposal brought up by Councilwoman Joyce McMullin was to limit the size of the sign exception to the exact square footage that the pharmacy intends their new sign to be. Mr. Otis said he would look into if that is a possibility or not.

The second reading on the issue of sign regulations will be at the next Ludlow City Council Business Meeting, scheduled for Thursday, August 14 at 7pm at the Ludlow Municipal Center.

Written by Bryan Burke, RCN Staff Writer

Photo: Ludlow Pharmacy/RCN